Former Cameroon international Alex Song has completed a surprise move to little known Djibouti club Arta Solar 7.
“I have signed a two-year contract with Arta. This is an opportunity to promote Djibouti football”, the former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder announced on Twitter.
The 33-year-old has been a free agent since March when he and eight other players were dismissed by Swiss club FC Sion for refusing a pay-cut amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
Arta won last season’s Djibouti Cup as they finished fourth in the country’s top flight.
The cup victory means Song’s new club qualified for the Confederation Cup, the second-tier African club competition, where they will face Egyptian side Arab Contractors in the preliminary round.
The club has confirmed he will be unveiled officially on Thursday.
Local media have also reported that Song will also oversee the club’s youth development, a decision made after he met with the club’s president.
The move has come as a surprise to many with Djibouti ranked at 185 out of the 210 nations on Fifa’s latest rankings while they are 51 in Africa, with only Somalia, Seychelles and Eritrea ranked lower in the continent.
It seems in stark contrast to his earlier career that saw him move from French side Bastia to English club Arsenal before joining Spanish giants Barcelona for a fee of $20 million.
He played more than 100 times for Arsenal and won La Liga with Barcelona in 2013 while at international he was part of Cameroon’s squad at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and four years later in Brazil.
In 2016 Song left Barcelona to join Russian side Rubin Kazan on a free transfer where he played for two years then joined FC Sion.
During his time at Barcelona, he also spent two seasons on loan at English club West Ham
Last month Song announced completion of an international school in his home town Douala, Cameroon, which comprises of a day care, nursery, primary and secondary school.